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Israel’s Turning Point :

Future Scenarios for Envisioning the Path for Recovery & Resilience

Events won’t wait for clarity. 

The choices we make today will have a lasting impact on Israel’s future.

As Israel and the global Jewish community grapple with the aftermath of the harrowing October 7th events, we assembled a team of experts to answer the question: What is the future of Israel in the next 12-18 months, and what will be the impact on recovery needs across the population? What began as an internal project designed to inform the design of our new philanthropic fund has evolved into an open resource we are happy to share. This document is a working draft, and we intend to update it over the coming weeks with the hope that it will facilitate more structured, effective, and optimistic ‘day after’ planning

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Summary

Two major uncertainties will determine the near-term future and Israel’s subsequent recovery needs: the degree of conflict escalation and the extent to which Israel's internal stability will be maintained. Based on these uncertainties, we envisioned four plausible scenarios to expand our thinking, unearth hidden risks, possibilities, and develop a set of  ‘no-regret moves’ — strategies with merit regardless of the scenario.


This resource aids organizations in both designing a robust recovery approach, adaptable to various scenarios, as well as identifying choices that enhance the likelihood of realizing the specific future we collectively aspire to see.

Key takeaways:

01

Real recovery demands restructuring, not a return to the status quo

Use your voice and actions to set a new vision and drive systemic changes across various dimensions (e.g., geopolitical outlook, political structure, social contract)

02

Social cohesion among the four tribes must be a top priority for everyone

Invest in fostering cohesion among different populations within Israel and with Global Jewry; encourage and undertake bold actions that could lead to a new social contract aligned with an ethos of unity

03

Under old paradigms, resources will not suffice for all needs

Rethink and clarify your role within the broader ecosystem; partner extensively and creatively across sectors, disciplines and borders to creatively expand and effectively utilize resources

04

We will need to navigate uncertainty for the foreseeable future

Develop internal capabilities, processes, and protocols to react swiftly and efficiently to evolving realities (e.g., enhance monitoring capabilities and streamline decision-making mechanisms

What are scenarios and why do we use them?

Scenarios are not predictions.

They are narratives about the future, meant to illustrate a range of plausible realities. They are hypotheses meant to stretch our

thinking, challenge our preconceptions, and shed light on new opportunities and hidden risks. 

Scenarios begin with a guiding focal question and then evolve into considering what elements are most uncertain about the future versus what we know to be likely.

Scenario thinking isn’t about making predictions; rather, it's meant for imagining possibilities to help us:

  • Identify scenario-specific impacts, risks, and responses 

  • Uncover 'universal truths' that are likely to occur in most or all scenarios and ‘no-regrets moves’ to consider in our response  

  • Pressure-test recovery strategies against multiple potential future states

  • Collaborate and identify our roles in shaping the future we want to see

Who can this resource help?

These scenarios are intended to benefit organizations that will be involved in planning for the “day after” including:

  • NGOs focused on rebuilding efforts and social services

  • Donors and foundations considering their giving strategies to deploy capital most effectively in light of evolving needs

  • Think tanks and advisors formulating new strategies and policies for recovery 

  • Private sector organizations operating in or partnering with Israel

How to use this resource?

For organizations looking to leverage this resource for crafting or stress testing recovery plans, we recommend reviewing the future scenarios and reflecting on the following questions. A detailed worksheet with additional questions is attached in the document's appendix:
 

  1. What do different scenarios mean for our organization and key stakeholders? (e.g., beneficiaries, funders, staff)

  2. What key strategic choices would we make in light of the possible futures? How do we put implementation processes and protocols in place? 

  3. What should our organization do now vs. later?

Key Uncertainties
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Four Plausible Scenarios
INTERNAL - Israel’s Turning Point_ Future Scenarios - Final draft before publication  (1).
Who is behind this initiative?

This analysis has been conducted and compiled by a diverse team of subject experts from various fields including geopolitical conflict, philanthropy, social impact investing, economics and financial strategy, civil society activism, non-profit leadership, former government officials, and scenario experts. We made our best effort to transcend political divides, sectors, and disciplines - though we recognize the shortcomings of a rushed exercise.

Initiating this exercise is PollyLabs, a global think-and-do tank and a venture builder fostering innovative solutions via blended capital models. PollyLabs’ research is designed to close critical knowledge gaps, serving as a catalyst, unlocking resources and investments, and ensuring that promising ventures and founders receive the support and capital they need.

 

This study originated with the goal to inform the thesis of PollyLabs new philanthropic fund: the Future Resilience Fund (FRF), a philanthropic fund designed to accelerate the recovery and rebuilding efforts in Israel. FRF will work to increase the pool of recovery capital channeled to Israel through the use of innovative catalytic models and cross-sector partnerships. 

This view of the future was developed in partnership with an incredible group of thinkers over the course of multiple intensive sessions and then pressure-tested and refined through the help of subject matter experts.  We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the individuals who joined us for hours of discussions, the experts who lent their time and wisdom to challenge and refine our thinking, and the dozens of people who helped translate, edit, and package this result. For a complete list of contributors, please refer to the people section.

We would love to hear from you

This document represents our initial attempt to address uncertainties and foster a collective understanding of potential paths forward. With the release of this initial version, we encourage you to read and engage with our work, utilize this resource as you find it suitable, and recognize its limitations. We are actively seeking partners to develop and disseminate the results, aiming to make this resource as beneficial as possible. Please reach out at alina@polly-labs.com should you have any questions, comments, or if you wish to connect.

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